This intimate video, shot in New York City’s Metaphonic Studios, features Miami-born songwriter Sam Friend and a quintet of musicians — Luke Moellman (drums), Bridget Davis (vocals), Abigail Wilensky (violin), Bryson Barnes (trumpet), Jim Camacho (bass) — he’s calling The Freckles. The song is “Delilah in the Woods”, which you may remember from the private concert Friend gave Beached Miami’s cameras amid horses, pigs, and peacocks down on Jam Farms.
Produced by Moellman (who also drums in ANR), the video — and the performance it captures — represents an attempt at “plotted” spontaneity, says Friend. Relative to that seemingly contradictory pursuit, Friend wrote the following diary entry to accompany this post. It references a text message he sent to me a few nights ago in which he said he wanted to say something about the video. “The journal style entry,” Friend says, “comes from the same place as the song, in a meta sense. It’s an off topic explanation of our new video.”
I’m not going to lie to you.
I wrote that text about a vague something after lightly drinking for the previous several hours. It’s CMJ in New York currently, and the shows start on the early. Honestly, it’s a pretty big plate of a “festival” and I don’t think anybody has a grasp of what it’s all about. But definitely people like to get together and see shows, which is good.
So when I wrote that text it was the nighttime and I was at a “loft” show. For a Floridian, northeast lofts are a unique thing. I find them super and enjoy their company. I was at a loft show and I started to do that annoying thing I do all the time and started thinking about what the fuck is going on with music right now? It’s there. That’s clear, what it is isn’t always. Anyways there is a lot of great music today, and it’s everywhere. There are definitely more than three bands.
I’m not going to lie to you. Very recently I got the new iphone by a stroke of there is such a thing as luck. It’s amazing and the first highly functional smart phone I’ve ever had. It challenges my fundamental belief that computers are at their core word processors. Forgive me, I’m pretty high on technology at the moment. I still believe they’re ruining the fabric of society, but after indulging, find them undeniable and sexy. And while before I quietly mocked Siri, after having her and using her, I am into her. Although nobody telling me you couldn’t just ask your phone a question was mildly frustrating to figure out. I’ve overcome. You have to hold down the menu button until you hear two beeps and then ask. It’s truly incredible. And of course the formidable Ray Kurzweil “invented” her underlying code, my man! That guy is seriously the man, and in my strong opinion very underrated. The way he’s been marginalized for ideas people find crazy is insulting and possibly libel. Here you have this guy who basically invented the coolest things ever and then people give him shit because he wants to be immortal and bring his father back to life. Isn’t it good to strive for the sky? To create options for ourselves. It’s good to have options.
So when I texted that last night from the loft show and said that I had something to say, or a lot to say rather, my point was this. Why is the go to first choice question for Siri the proverbial “What is the meaning of life?” Rather, why isn’t the instinct to ask a crazy, less vaporous question. Nature’s closer than we think, and there are small gems to put under a lamp. We’d find new planets and reach past stars and it’d explain us to us. Look at our track record. Our built in ambition has proven boundless and defying. It’s not going to get crazy when Siri can have a human conversation, it’s going to get normal. Siri says the meaning of life is “To ask questions like this.” I say aspirational answers elect presidents. I say crazier curiosities accomplish great unknowns. I say music is a catalyst.
— Sam Friend